Several people sent screen shots of what happens when they go to the STGRB site tonight. We thought you might like to see a few of them we had permission to show.
Users report their internet is working fine so we wondered what could cause the sudden outage. We consulted a computer professional to ask what might be the issue. “What you’re seeing there is that the server is down for one reason or another. Either an accidental outage or a deliberate outage, meaning that the server has been shut down.”
I asked if my recent letter to Blue Host’s Legal Department might have had anything to do with it.
“That is an explanation that makes sense. Their legal department may have received your letter, investigated the site and disliked what they saw. They can shut the server off in a matter of seconds,” he explained. “In a situation like this, the server host will often choose to pull the plug on a site so that it can investigate more closely before returning the site online or removing it permanently.”
Are there any other reasons this might be happening? “There are. It could be technical difficulties,” he adds. “But every reputable server host has redundancies built in to prevent that from happening. So while it is possible, it is unlikely.”
Could the site owner have taken the site offline herself? “Not from the error messages I’m seeing,” he imparts. “If this was the case, we would be seeing a different message than depicted in the screen shots. You would be seeing a specific server outage message instead, as in “server down for maintenance” or something like that.”
Is there anything else you’d like to add to this speculation? “If it is a technical glitch it’s usually resolved in a matter of minutes. It seems from the time stamps that users have been trying to access the site for over an hour now. This leads me to believe this is more than just a server outage.”
“Law enforcement,” he continues, “can easily order the server host to shut the site down. Goodreads could make the same complaints as you made and the server host may have complied. It could be a Denial of Service attack or maybe the owner just didn’t pay the bill, ” he laughs. “Understand that any server host has an uptime guarantee. It costs them money when sites go down; they pay back to the customer for this. That’s why it might be something other than a server error.”
Truthfully, we may never know but I think this covers every reasonable aspect here and more. Thanks to our computer professional for his feedback and thank you, readers, for your screen shots.
Edit: After over two hours offline, STGRB is now back up and running. I wonder what the excuse will be for such an outage? Given the error codes we’ve shown, the reasons they could give are very limited. Ah, another mystery for “Athena Parker” to spin – Stay tuned!